Hundreds of boxes filled with mental health support, curated resources for CPS students

On Monday, volunteers gathered at Nicholas Sen High School to assemble a box filled with items to improve the mental health of students.

The box contains a list of resources including suicide hotline numbers. “You are so loved” wristband. Depression and Suicide Statistics; Deck of Cards with 52 Reasons to Live. And a handwritten message reminding the box’s owner that they are loved and that they are not alone.

CPS students, teachers, and administrators helped fill in nearly 400 boxes created by Find Your Anchor, a national suicide prevention organization founded in Chicago.

Ali Borowsky created Find Your Anchor to spread awareness about mental health and suicide prevention.

“I have personally struggled. Throughout my journey into mental health, I have found that mental health care often feels corporate, dry, and clinical,” said Borowsky. increase.

Find Your Anchor has partnered with CPS to assemble and distribute boxes to high school students in the district. The group will provide districts with 1,000 of her boxes to distribute during the school year, including 400 of his assembled on Monday.

Since Borowsky built her first box in 2012, her organization has distributed 40,000 boxes to schools and groups across the country.

“These boxes are a way of reminding someone that they are not alone and providing information on how to find help,” she said. It’s all worth it.”

Jaylin Yanez personally sat at a table to enter

Jaylin Yanez personally sat at a table to enter “Find Your Anchor Boxes” at Senn High School, 5900 N. Glenwood Ave., North Side, Monday, August 15, 2022. I am writing a memo.Anthony Vasquez/The Sun Times

Anthony Vazquez, Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

Jaylin Yanez, an 18-year-old student at Pathways in Education, helped assemble the box. He also spent time writing messages to add to the boxes.

“It’s okay because you can still do it under these circumstances. You are so strong and loved. Take one day at a time,” Yanez wrote in one note.

“These boxes are useful for people who have no one to talk to and don’t know where to turn for help.

Yanez says mental health care should be more available and accessible, especially for young people.

“Mental health affects each person differently. Everyone has their own struggles, and they should know that asking for help doesn’t mean they’re weak,” she said. Told.

In discussions following the box assembly, CPS CEO Pedro Martinez said mental health care remains a priority for the school district.

“We want our students to see our school as a place where they can talk to someone,” Martinez said. “If you’re struggling with something, I want someone to talk to and let you know you’re not alone.”

The National Suicide Prevention Line can be reached by calling 1-800-273-TALK and the Crisis Text Line can be reached by texting HOME at 741-741.

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